The Germantown football team hosted Nicolet on Friday night in what many would consider a trap game. With an end-of-the-season battle looming a week away for a chance at the conference title, the Warhawks made sure not to look past a struggling opponent.
Despite a strong defensive effort from Nicolet, the trap was not sprung on the Germantown season, and the Warhawks defeated the Knights 28-7 on Homecoming night. The win, coupled with Homestead losing to Whitefish Bay, means Germantown joins those teams with just one loss at the top of the North Shore standings.
“It’s been a tough week and a challenge to not look ahead,” Germantown head coach Jake Davis said. “Then of course it’s Homecoming week, and that’s always a challenging week in itself.
“We knew Nicolet was going to come play hard and we couldn’t take anyone lightly.”
Early on in the contest, the Warhawks certainly seemed willing to take risks, going for it on 4th down and 2 on the first drive of the game. After an incomplete pass and two mildly successful runs, the Nicolet defense was able to stop Germantown and force the early turnover on downs. On two different occasions in the first quarter, Germantown went for it on 4th down and short, with the Nicolet defense stopping them both times.
Unfortunately for the Knights, the offense couldn’t move the ball, and the next big play would belong to the Germantown special teams. Germantown blocked the Nicolet punt and set up field position for the offense at the Nicolet 30-yard line.
Sophomore Dwayne Lawhorn, Jr. found junior Nick Holcomb in the flat for a touchdown shortly thereafter. The 13-yard score was the culmination of a three play, 30-yard drive to give Germantown a 7-0 lead with 6:42 to play in the first quarter.
The special teams got to another punt to start the second quarter, partially blocking a kick to again set up the Warhawks offense in Nicolet territory, this time at the 32. Nicolet’s defense would cause a three and out on that drive, with Germantown electing to punt as opposed to going for it on fourth.
Pinned back inside the 20-yard line, the Nicolet offense could not fight the ball forward and punted yet again -- into the hands of Germantown. The third Germantown blocked punt of the game was returned for a touchdown, a score that put the Warhawks up 14-0.
“I’m proud of our kids,” Nicolet coach David Quam said. “Germantown is really an elite team in the state and I feel like our kids, particularly our defense really played well.”
Germantown now moves forward to prepare for the battle with Homestead and a return once again to the playoffs. Davis spoke about wanting to grab a piece of the conference title and about how games like Friday night show just how much of an accomplishment a North Shore Conference title is.
“I put it on the kids' backs to try to get better this week and tried to teach them that we can’t take weeks off,” Davis said. “We have to work to get better no matter what, Nicolet can come out any night and beat you, that’s what it’s like in the North Shore.
“We want a piece of that championship and knowing that Homestead lost ... I’m sure they aren’t taking that well so they will be getting ready to go.”